A 12-year-old New Bedford girl took her own life last week, one of at least three reported child suicides in the City over the past several years.

Tom Butero, Site Director of the New Bedford Child and Family Services office says the rise in child suicide rates is something of a nationwide trend. Butero says children today are living in extremely stressful environments at home and at school.

He says one of the most important things to do is listen to children when they vent.

Butero says suicide is one of the most preventable causes of death. Keeping an eye out for warning signs like sudden changes in behavior, slipping grades, and depression can potentially save a life.